Arlen L. Olson, 70, Alexander, lost his fight with cancer and passed away Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018 at his home. Funeral services were held Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 11 a.m. at Ewing Funeral Home in Belmond. Burial was in the Alexander Cemetery.
Arlen was born Oct. 10, 1948 to Arnie and Effie (Bohman) Olson. He graduated from CAL High School in Latimer in 1966. In April 1967 he joined the United States Air Force and spent two tours of duty in Viet Nam. He faithfully served his country and returned home inApril 1972. He married Bonnie Francis on April 20, 1974 at the United Methodist Church in Britt. They have one son, Travis, and lived in Alexander all their married life.
Arlen grew up on a farm just north of town and farmed most of his life. He worked for Orville and Roy Arends full time for many years, then part time in later years in the spring and fall up until this last October. He farmed the family place a few years, and in 1990 started working for the Iowa Department of Transportation, retiring in 2010.
Arlen was awarded the Governors Meritorious Service Award for finding and rescuing Lindsay Thomas on April 30, 2001. She had been trapped in her vehicle for five days in a steep ditch along I-35.
Arlen volunteered his time to the Alexander community in many ways. He was a member of the American Legion for many years. He was a member of the Alexander Fire Dept. for over 30 years, serving as fire chief for 12. He was a long time member of the Alexander City Council and served as mayor for several years.
Arlen was an HO and O scale train hobbyist, and his sets grew to take over the full length and a half of the house in the basement. He loved going to train shows and hobby shops with son Travis and train buddy Clair. He also enjoyed fishing, golfing, gambling, and sitting under the tree with his loyal cat Smokey.
Arlen is survived by his wife Bonnie; son Travis of Ansley, NE; sisters Gladys Peterson of Clear Lake and Arleen DeMoss of Cedar Rapids; and brother Edward of Loveland, CO.
He was preceded in death by his parents; infant son Zackary; brother Oliver; and brothers-in-law Lowell Peterson and Earl DeMoss.